Tax Appeals

Property Taxation

Greg Lisinski has thirty years practicing before the Cook County Assessor, Cook County Board of Review, Property Tax Appeal Board, the Circuit Court of Cook County and local assessors in counties surrounding the Chicago metropolitan area.  Property types include residential property, commercial buildings, apartment buildings, industrial and warehouse buildings.

In addition, there are other important services available like assistance in redemption of a tax sale, Petitions to consolidate or divide of tax parcels, assistance with tax bill issues, changes of Taxpayer of Record and other matters.

Appraisal Properties

In most cases involving owner-occupied commercial or industrial property, an appraisal is the most effective type of evidence in appealing the assessment.   I can recommend an appraiser to assist the taxpayer in appealing the assessment.  In most cases, the taxpayer should receive a “preliminary appraisal” which sets forth general appraisal goals before expending larger sums of money to obtain the full narrative appraisal.  I would also present you with my recommendations as well as potential tax savings projection in order to help you determine if the appraisal is a worthwhile expenditure.

In most cases, a full narrative appraisal is the best way to go, with all three approaches to value included:  The cost, income and comparative market approach, along with a conclusion as to value.  It is most helpful if the opinion of value is based on a January 1 of the tax year being appealed.  The reason for this is the actual tax lien date in Illinois law and would reflect the same assessment date as the Assessor.  Of course, the inspection can take place at any time so long as the appraisal has an opinion as of January 1 of the year in question.

Income and Rental Properties

In cases where there is an income stream available for analysis, an appraisal may not always be required.  In these cases, a review of the lease terms, rent roll and recent tax returns may be sufficient to determine if an appeal is helpful to the taxpayer.  Once the economic analysis is completed, the assessment goal is discussed with the taxpayer and submissions are prepared.

The assembled data is then analyzed by looking at the income and expenses of the property over a period of time and establishing an economic value by capitalizing the income stream.  Typically, the submission to the assessor or Board of Review contains portions of the tax returns pertaining to the income and expenses, the actual leases (in most commercial settings), a current rent roll and other supporting data.

Purchase Price

An arm’s length purchase price can often be a good basis for the appeal.  The recent purchase price must be between a willing Seller and Buyer, free of distress or force, such as a foreclosure or short sale.  Consult with me on these points for further detail.

Residential Properties and Uniformity

Very often, a comparative uniformity analysis can be helpful to the taxpayer is seeking a reduction in assessed value.  This method includes analysis is the home compared to homes of the same property class (or property characteristics as defined by the local assessor).  From this analysis, the homes assessment “neighborhood” is researched to determine if your home is assessed higher or lower than homes in your area.  If so, a complaint would be filed seeking relief from the over assessment.